With the coming summer, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a slight, but steady improvement for the job market in April, showing that the unemployment rate dropped in 37 states and Washington, D.C., with payroll jobs increasing in 32 states from the previous month.
The BLS numbers remain similar to the March statistics, but slightly better as April and the beginning of the warmer season typically signals more hiring. States like Arizona, which saw a 0.4% drop in unemployment from March, and Oklahoma which also saw a 0.4% decrease, point to a slow recovery to the job market.
National unemployment stands at 8.1% in April, which is only a 0.1% decrease from the previous month and down 0.9% decrease from a year ago.
The positive trend is offset by the jobless rate rising slightly in five states: Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Utah. However, with the exception of Utah, which saw a 0.2% increase in unemployment, all of these states only increased their unemployment rate by 0.1%.
The states with the highest monthly improvements in nonfarm employment included Hawaii with +0.8%, followed by North Dakota at +0.7% and Indiana at +0.6%. Of the states with a decline in employment, New Hampshire showed the biggest drop of -0.8%, followed by Alaska at -0.7% and Vermont at -0.5%. The annual data shows, however, that overall nonfarm employment increased in 43 states and Washington, D.C., from the same month last year.
The more extreme examples of unemployment remain unchanged from the previous month. Nevada continues to suffer the highest unemployment rate at 11.7%, while North Dakota boasts the lowest unemployment rate of 3%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistic’s employment report shows seasonally adjusted data for the regional and state level, as seen here: